In the latest step of a saga that has been going on for more than two decades, O.J. "Juice" Simpson was granted parole by the state of Nevada on Thursday after serving nine years of his sentence for robbery and kidnapping. Following Simpson's parole decision, the family of Ronald Goldman — who was murdered alongside the former NFL player's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson in 1994 — responded in a conversation on Friday with CBS This Morning's Norah O'Donnell.
"I'm troubled that he's out free, getting a second chance, something that Ron didn't get," his father Fred Goldman told O'Donnell. "I would prefer to see him back in jail. Simple as that. I don't think he is worthy of the right to be out among decent people."
Ron Goldman's sister Kim expressed dismay at what she saw at the parole hearing, having felt that the parole board seemed go easy on Simpson, not asking the tough questions about whether he had really changed for the better. "Maybe their questions were answered before the hearing even happened," Kim Goldman told O'Donnell. "I just wonder if that's how it always is."
The Goldmans took issue with Simpson's statement during his parole hearing that he had led a "conflict-free life."
"Conflict free except for the beating of his first wife, Nicole," said Fred Goldman. (Simpson's first wife was not Nicole Brown, but rather Marguerite Whitley, who he divorced in 1979) "Various altercations over the years with various people. He's hardly conflict free."
Before the hearing on Thursday, Fred Goldman and his daughter Kim appeared on Good Morning America and expressed disappointment at the possibility of Simpson being let out of jail. "Needless to say [I am] upset," Fred Goldman told George Stephanopoulos. "What's troubling to me is not only him but that the whole system gives second chances to violent felons or for that matter anyone in jail. Ron doesn't get a second chance."
Though Simpson famously was acquitted of the murder of Goldman and his ex-wife Brown Simpson in a 1995 trial, the family managed to wrangle a victory out of the judicial system anyway — in 1997, a civil court found Simpson liable for Goldman's death, forcing him to pay $25 million to Goldman's family. With Simpson having been locked away for armed robbery and kidnapping since 2008, Goldman's family has said that they feel a little better knowing Simpson is not on the streets.
The decision to grant Simpson parole has proved deeply divisive, and many of the criticism surrounding it has focused on what it means to the Goldman and Brown's families.
Simpson's highly anticipated parole hearing on Thursday heard testimony from his daughter Arnelle Simpson, as well as his friend and the victim of the 2008 robbery, Bruce Fromong. Fromong delivered an emotional plea on behalf of Simpson, arguing that serving nine years for robbery charges were "way too long." He added, "Juice, I will be here for you tomorrow. I mean that, buddy."
A spokesman for the Goldman family said before the Thursday hearing that the family feels apprehension about "how this will change their lives again should Simpson be released."